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Definition of 'cataclysm'

A violent and sudden event or upheaval that results in great change or destruction.
"The tsunami was a cataclysm that swept away everything in its path."

Detailed Meaning of 'cataclysm'

It often refers to a natural disaster, such as an earthquake, hurricane, or volcanic eruption, that has catastrophic consequences for the environment and human life. The term "cataclysm" can also be used to describe a sudden and drastic change in human society or history, such as a war, revolution, or economic collapse. Overall, the term "cataclysm" suggests a profound and transformative event or experience, often associated with destruction and upheaval on a large scale.


Examples of 'cataclysm' in a Sentence

1. The cataclysmic earthquake shook the entire city, leaving behind a trail of destruction.
2. The asteroid impact on Earth millions of years ago was a cataclysm that wiped out the dinosaurs.
3. The hurricane was a cataclysm that ravaged the coastal towns and cities.
4. The financial crisis was a cataclysm that caused the stock market to crash.
5. The pandemic was a cataclysm that disrupted lives and economies across the globe.
6. The eruption of the volcano was a cataclysm that buried entire villages in ash and lava.

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Origins & Etymology of 'cataclysm'

The noun 'cataclysm' has an etymology that conveys the idea of a sudden and devastating event. It is derived from the Greek word 'kataklysmos,' which combines 'kata,' meaning 'down,' and 'klysmos,' meaning 'a washing' or 'a flood.' Originally, 'kataklysmos' specifically referred to a deluge or a great flood. However, over time, 'cataclysm' evolved to encompass any violent and sudden event or upheaval that results in significant change or destruction. The etymology of 'cataclysm' underscores its historical association with catastrophic events, particularly those involving the force of nature, highlighting the sudden and often overwhelming nature of the changes or destruction it describes.

How to pronounce cataclysm (audio)


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